Ponting named coach of MLC side Washington Freedom - 2 minutes read

Ricky Ponting made 560 appearances for Australia across all formats between 1995 and 2012

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has been named coach of Major League Cricket (MLC) side Washington Freedom on a two-year contract.

Ponting succeeds compatriot Greg Shipperd, who led Washington to a third-place finish in the inaugural season of the six-team US-based T20 tournament last year.

The second edition of the tournament takes place in July.

"Cricket is really on the rise in the US," Ponting, 49, said.

"I've been impressed by everyone involved at Washington Freedom and, while it's a bit surreal to be replacing my mate Greg Shipperd, there's probably no-one better to set up a successful franchise."

Ponting is also coach of Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League (IPL), which takes place every April. He has previously coached IPL side Mumbai Indians and had short-term T20 coaching stints with Australia.

The MLC is cricket's latest attempt to establish itself in the United States and has had significant investment, particularly from the IPL.

Owners of four IPL clubs - Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals - have stakes in four of the six MLC teams, with the other two supported by Australian state organisations Cricket New South Wales and Cricket Victoria.

The United States is also co-hosting this year's T20 World Cup along with West Indies from 1 to 29 June.

West Indies wicketkeeper-batter Nicholas Pooran hit an unbeaten century as MI New York beat Seattle Orcas by seven wickets to win the inaugural Major League Cricket title last year.

Source: BBC News

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